We have made the point more than once in this space: New York State has tough requirements for those who want to be licensed as a nurse here.
We read with interest a well-written column by an oncology nurse about borders, boundaries and consequences for boundary crossings and violations. Let's begin by defining terms: the columnist writes that the National Council of State Boards of Nursing says "a boundary crossing" is a 'brief excursion across professional lines of behavior.'"
As nurses and students aspiring to be nurses in New York know, it takes a real commitment to the profession and devotion to patients to become licensed as an RN or LPN. Even more, the New York State Education Department says, you must meet education requirements, be at least 18 years old, meet examination requirements and "demonstrate that you are currently of good moral character in order to be licensed or registered as an RN or LPN."
Mobility is a key element in maintaining job growth in America’s economy. When it comes to nursing, being able to travel to different locations using the same license is just as important. A number of state regulatory boards recognized this and created a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) so that nurses could provide their services across state lines while adhering to one set of rules and avoid redundancy among states.
Nurses are an integral part of the health care system. Whether you are going in for an exam or seeking urgent medical care, a nurse will often be the first professional you are treated by. Because of the vital role they play, though, there are high standards maintained for licensing. There are many missteps that can land a nurse in trouble and result in a license that is suspended or even revoked.
Nurses devote themselves to caring for others. They are an essential part of our health care system, providing the care and attention that patients often cannot receive from busy doctors.
For health care providers, patient complaints can be not only disheartening to one’s professional confidence, but also a source of trouble if the complaint involves allegations of professional misconduct. Understanding the complaint and investigation process, and one’s due process rights, allow a nursing professional to have the best shot at a favorable outcome in the case.
Few things can turn a nurse's life upside down like a disciplinary proceeding. Nurses work extremely hard to get their careers going, and to know that it is all in jeopardy can be almost too much to bear.